If you need to have most of your teeth extracted, or you are already missing most of your teeth, you may be weighing all of the restorative options. One option you may want to consider is implant-supported dentures. Since individual implants can cost thousands of dollars, implant-supported dentures may be ideal for some people since only a few implant posts are required to support an entire denture prosthesis. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see if you're a good candidate for implant-supported dentures.
Do You Have Good Bone Support?
Since dental implants integrate with the jaw bone, it's important for you to have good bone density before proceeding with implant surgery. If you have poor bone density, the strong chewing action can exert too much pressure on the bone, and the implant can fail. Thankfully, a bone graft surgery can help some people build up their jaw bone enough to make them viable candidates for implants.
Are You Willing to Commit to Months of Treatment?
With other restorative options—like traditional dentures—you may only need a few appointments to get the final appliance. With implant-supported dentures, you may need to commit to months of treatment to enjoy the results. As previously mentioned, you could need a bone graft surgery beforehand; besides bone grafts, your dentist may need to do other preparatory surgeries, like sinus lifts, extractions, or jaw bone augmentation.
After possible preparatory surgeries, you'll also need to completely heal from the implant post/abutment surgery before the final dentures can be placed. Although there are various stages of treatment, the good news is that your dentist can fit you with temporary appliances, like dental flippers, which can be worn over healing tissue until you are ready to be fitted with the final appliance.
Will You Follow the Aftercare Instructions?
Because implant-supported dentures are semi-permanent solutions, some people may think they can just brush and floss as they normally would with natural teeth. However, in order for implant-supported dentures to stay in good condition, you'll need to be thorough with your dental routine after surgery. You'll need to clean all the nooks and crannies of the abutment pillars every day with inter-dental brushes, and you'll need to clean your dentures with a special cleaner so that they don't gather bacteria or oral thrush.
As you can see, while implant-supported dentures can be a great blessing for many people to replace missing teeth, these appliances require extra planning and care in order to be successful and last a long time. Reach out to your dentist today to see if you're a good candidate for a denture implant procedure.